Seminars & Events
Monday, February 11, 2013: Dr. Daphne Soares (University of Maryland College Park) will speak on "The Sensory World of Cavefishes" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, March 4, 2013: Dr. Joe Cheer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Endogenous Cannabinoids and the Pursuit of Reward" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Friday, April 12, 2013: Dr. Jill McGaughy (University of New Hampshire) will speak on "The Role of Cortical Norepinephrine in the Ontogeny of Executive Function" at 3:00 pm in Schaefer Hall 106.
Dr. Erin Johnson '02 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and was inducted as an alumni member of Nu Rho Psi.
Ron Saul, "Chronic activation of the substantia nigra nociceptin/orphanin receptor induces motor deficits similar to Parkinson's disease," 2008. Saul, the 2008 winner of the Neuroscience Award, infused a drug into the substantia nigra of rats and measured the resulting motor behaviors, mood disturbances, and cognitive abilities.
Whitt, Josh (2009). The Effects of Prenatal Antipschotic Exposure on Neuronal Expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Mentor: Dr. Aileen Bailey
Dopaminergic neurotransmission has been found to be extremely important in sculpting the developing nervous system and any possible antagonism may have profound sequelae. Previous research suggests that typical, or first-generation, antipsychotic drugs exert their therapeutic effect through antagonism of dopamine neurotransmission and chronic antipsychotic exposure has also been correlated with decreased levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the adult nervous system. Antipsychotic drugs have also been found to be secreted in breast milk as well as being able to cross the placental barrier. The differences in brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA levels in the hippocampal and prefrontal cortical regions among rats neonatally exposed to haloperidol, a typical antipsychotic, compared to two controls, vehicle injection or handling alone, were examined utilizing a radioactive in situ hybridization technique. No significant difference was found in expression among the different groups in with the hippocampal or prefrontal regions of the cortex. Because BDNF has been implicated as an activity-dependent protein, it is possible that no differences in expression were witnessed due to the fact that neonatal rats, after being injected for a short period, were allowed to grow undisrupted into adulthood without any need for BDNF upregulation. Future studies should aim to elucidate the possible effects of antipsychotic drugs on this activity-dependent modulation of BDNF and to determine if any behavioral sequelae exist.